What do you know about Ecuador? We learned some very interesting facts while preparing this podcast about Ecuador and we hope you’ll find them interesting, too!
Voice message from Luis from Venezuela who’s living in Madrid.
A quick way to certify his English?
Brayan from Ecuador – a new listener!!
República del Ecuador, which literally translates as “Republic of the Equator”, is bordered by Colombia on the north, Peru on the east and south, and the Pacific Ocean to the west.
Ecuador also includes the Galápagos Islands in the Pacific, about 1,000 kilometres (620 mi) west of the mainland. The capital city is Quito. 16,385,068 population in 2016. 2,735,987 live in Quito.
Ecuador was colonized by Spain during the 16th century, achieving independence in 1820 as part of Gran Colombia, from which it emerged as its own sovereign state in 1830.
The official language is Spanish. There are at least 14 recognised languages spoken in Ecuador. 13 indigenous languages are also recognised including Quichua and Shuar.
Ecuadorean/Ecuadorian – noun or adjective to describe something or someone related to the country Ecuador.
equatorial – adjective to describe something or someone related to the equator.
Some interesting facts about Ecuador (from www.atlasandboots.com)
- The national tree of Ecuador is the cinchona tree which produces Quinine, the first drug used to prevent and treat malaria.
- Ecuador is one of only two countries in South America that does not share a border with Brazil. The other is Chile.
- In 2008, Ecuador was the first country to officially recognise the rights of nature. Rather than treating nature as property, Ecuador recognises that nature has constitutional rights and has the “right to exist , persist, maintain and regenerate its vital cycles.”
- Ecuador has granted political asylum to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Under investigation by the US government and facing extradition to Sweden, Assange sought refuge at the Embassy of Ecuador in London. He has been there since June 2012.
- The summit of Mount Chimborazo, Ecuador’s highest mountain, is the point on Earth closest to the sun. Due to the mountain’s location along the equatorial bulge, its summit is the farthest point from the Earth’s core. This also means that Ecuador is the closest country to space.
- Ecuador is one of 18 megadiverse countries in the world and has the most biodiversity per square kilometre of any nation. (A megadiverse country must have at least 5,000 species of endemic plants and must border marine ecosystems.)
Charles Darwin visited Ecuador’s Galápagos Islands in 1835 and largely based his theory of evolution on the discoveries he made there.
- Ecuador has the world’s first and second UNESCO World Heritage Sites. At the inaugural UNESCO World Heritage conference in 1978, 32 sites were initially designated. Every World Heritage Site has a number – site #1 is the Galápagos Islands and #2 is the city of Quito.
- Quito, Ecuador’s capital city, is 2,850m above sea level, making it the highest official capital city in the world. La Paz in Bolivia is higher but it’s not the constitutional capital (that’s Sucre), only the seat of government.
- Guinea pig, known as ‘cuy’, is considered a delicacy in Ecuador, its consumption is seen as an ancient tradition.
- Ecuador is the world’s number one exporter of bananas (around 30% of all bananas exported), which is also the country’s most important industry after oil. It’s also the third largest exporter of flowers.
…and now it’s your turn to practise your English.
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